Free Will Research Papers
Free will research papers discuss the philosophic concept of free will. Paper Masters' custom writes projects on free will and will include any aspect of the topic for your research paper that you need to focus on. An example of free will topics are discussed in the paragraphs below.
The academic problem faced in free will research papers is that many religious philosophers point out that free will immediately leads to man’s temptation and fall. How, then, is one to reconcile the idea of freewill with an omniscient God?
- If God knows all; then God should have foreseen that Adam would eat the forbidden fruit.
- Similarly, one would expect that God would have been aware of Cain’s murder of Abel, and so on.
- The idea of an omniscient God and human free will appear contradictory.
However, exploration of the writings of Saint Augustine of Hippo (specifically the De Libero Arbitrio) will ultimately reveal that this perceived contradiction does not exist. It is entirely within the realm of faith and understanding that perfect human freedom exists in a universe presided over by an omniscient God.
Augustine Free Will
Augustine's free will ideas are based on the exercise to choose. Augustine said, “You see, then, I imagine, that it is in the power of our will to enjoy or to be without so great and so true a good”. Augustine clearly argues that man is free to either observe or disregard God’s law. Errors in cupidity are the sole responsibility of the individual, and man’s ignorance and sinful nature are the just punishments. Again, Augustine comments, “For those who are happy—and they must also be good—are not happy simply because they wish to live happily. The bad also have the same wish. They are happy because they live rightly, which the bad do not wish to do so”.
Sin, then, is a choice. But if God is all-knowing, then God knows, from the beginning of time, that we will sin. God, it can be said, must have known that Adam was going to eat the fruit. In Book 3, Augustine “continues to observe that although God foreknows what his creatures will do he does not rob them of the freedom of willing; rather their actions, including sin, have a place in the perfectly ordered whole of God’s universe”.
The Idea of Free Will
The paradox must return to the idea of free will for any sort of understanding. The counterargument runs that a good God would not give leukemia to innocent children and so on. All of these things are evil. Augustine argues that God did not create evil, but that man did through sin. Because Adam committed Original Sin, all of humankind has been susceptible to the effects of sin. It would not be free will if there were limitations to it. Likewise, it would not be a free gift from God if He interfered with the exercise and ramifications of it. This world of evil is the penalty of sin.